I hope you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to bringing in 2016 in style! I always like to look back on my year and sort of go through the ups and downs that I have experienced. This year I thought I would do it here. If I had to use one word to describe 2015 I think it would be extreme. There have been some some incredible highs and devastating lows. The reason I wanted to do it in my blog was because many of my highs this year were to do with my health and my sport which you may have noticed, is what I like to write about the most. So with that out of the way, lets get started.
There really have been some big positives for me this year. I recently celebrated 10 years together with my wonderful wife, I experienced success in sport, I cracked the food riddle which I have been battling for years and I made a number of new friends.
Without doubt for me, the number one experience I had this year was the Nepean Triathlon. This is a race that is iconic in Australia. It is the oldest triathlon in the country and I agreed to sign up for it because one of my friends had signed up for his first triathlon. The odd distance meant that I didn't really know what to expect going into the race but with a 10km run I wanted to finally do a sub 40 minute run off the bike. I was thrilled to succeed. But the reason why Nepean Tri was my highlight of the year was because my younger brother, Luke, had signed up and trained in secret for the race. When I rocked up to registration there he was with all of his gear. I am incredibly close to my brother and have been trying to get him to do a triathlon for years so to have him there was brilliant. I wanted to be at the finish line when he crossed and I was lucky enough to be there. This was also the first time that I had a big group of friends and family come and see my race and race well. The day was made even better by seeing my friend Andy battle the voices in his head and complete his first triathlon. After the race we all went out for a huge dinner which I think took me longer to recover from than the race did.
The other significant sporting highs for 2015 were my success at a number of races this year. Winning the double in Thailand was incredible. Making the podium in Indonesia was also an absolute highlight and considering the way I got there with a bad bike crash and struggling on the run made it even more special. Bintan was also where I managed to qualify for the 2016 70.3 World Championships. If that wasn't enough I even managed to somehow make the podium in Taupo. Taupo was a real confidence booster for me. I felt like I had kind of cheated the system a little bit by qualifying in Indonesia so to qualify again in New Zealand really made me feel like I earned my spot on the Sunshine Coast next year. It is funny to look at this year in contrast with last year. I had slower race results this year compared to last (mostly owing to my crash and tougher conditions) but I had a much more successful year.
This year I was featured in 220 Triathlon Australia Magazine and interviewed on a number of podcasts including Chris 'Macca. McCormack's. After this things have started to get a little hectic. My social media accounts started to go a little crazy and my website started to see some serious traffic. I got a number of new clients which allowed me to give up a job I did not like and I have been much happier since. Me and Dez also really started to work on our diet and I saw my total weight loss fall to over 50kgs. This is ridiculous for me to comprehend. I literally cannot lift that much weight so the thought that I was carrying it around on my body makes me wonder why I am not stronger on the bike...
I managed to travel to some new places that I always wanted to visit including a week in Singapore and a wicked weekend in New Zealand with the boys. I spent 2 weeks training in paradise with some of the best triathletes in the world at Thanyapura, Phuket. I have also been able to travel down to Melbourne multiple times now that my Dad lives down there. I love Melbourne and I am really getting the opportunity to explore the city in new and different ways (mostly running and riding). I have actually done so much travelling this year that I am quite happy not to fly for some time.
There have been so many other positives to come out of this year. I worked out what sort of law I would like to practice (family) I have eaten some amazing food and had some really fun nights out. But I think the main things have been covered. However I don't want you to all think I have had the perfect year.
My family has had some very serious health issues this year including my Mum finding another aneurysm in her brain. She had one burst many years ago and had to have brain surgery. That was without doubt the worst day of my life so the news that it might happen again has been hard to handle. We also lost my grandmother, Nancy this year. I lost my Grandad when I was four years old so this was the first time I have really lost a member of my family. It was very difficult to deal with and to rub salt into the wound, I had to sit two university exams in the days that followed. But that is enough about that.
The other very low low I had this year was my bike crash in Indonesia. I think that when I went down I didn't realise how much damage I had done to myself. It literally took me months to recover fully where I was able to run and ride properly. I stupidly neglected to see a doctor (yes I know, Dez got very angry at me for it). While I have had other crashes before this was the first really bad crash that I had. While it was very painful and scary I am quite glad that it happened. I know what to expect now if it happens again and at the end of the day I was quite lucky to not be more beaten up with no broken bones. I am still quite nervous descending on the bike but am working to get my confidence back.
I copped my first drafting penalty in a race this year which wasn't the end of the world but was more humiliating and annoying than anything else. I do not draft and to be penalised when so many others were blatantly doing it enraged me beyond belief. Again it isn't anything too serious but another low point for me this year. Thats about it for my serious low points. There were times where I struggled with motivation and lost focus but that is all part and parcel of triathlon.
So that is it. I think overall my 2015 has been an incredible 12 months that has absolutely flown by. I wanted to finish with some things that I think have been significant for 2015. Firstly I have met some amazing new people this year through the sport. A number of whom I consider true friends now and I catch up with them regularly. I have been able to introduce some healthy habits into some of my less than active friends and a group of us even make Saturday parkrun a weekly ritual. I have discovered some exciting new cycling routes in and around Sydney.
I also wanted to thank all of my readers. As I mentioned earlier, my website gets a lot of traffic now and there are literally thousands of you who are reading my blogs so a huge thank you. I am constantly blown away when people come up to me at races and tell me that they read my blog. I really appreciate all of the support and all of your kind words. I started this little blog up to do something I love, writing, and to have people really appreciate it makes it even more special. A big thank you too to my supporters especially the gang at Thanyapura and True Amino. Check these guys out as they are the goods!
I think that is enough of me for 2015. It has been a huge year and one in which I have ticked off a number of bucket list items. But how about all of you? Let me know what have been your high and low points during 2015. I mean this when I say that I love to hear from you. So leave a comment with your best of 2015.
Have a happy new year, see you in 2016 and remember to TRI!